Describe Paris in a few posts. Very tricky job: too much to say, to describe, to suggest. And many, many pictures! In short, is it or not one of the most beautiful cities in the world? So the many post it deserves them all.
Let’s start by saying that our trip to Paris is a few years ago but we publish it now for several reasons. First, then we had not the blog! Second, given that we are talking about a unique holiday that falls right in Paris on May 1 could be a good suggestion to organize in time a small trip in the Ville Lumière. Third: in these periods it is even more right to travel and not to be stopped by fear. What has happened in Paris and in Brussels it should not be understood as the end of something, but a new beginning of a different life, perhaps harder and more conscious, but still a life. Because it is up to us all the task not to let terrorism win.
Three adjectives to Paris: elegant, romantic, charming. But youcould use a lot more because the French capital captures forever and you feel like a tourist visiting for the first time after staying there often. Concepts condensed very well by Edmondo De Amicis: “You never see Paris for the first time: you always see it again”.
And if the city is celebrating it’s even more beautiful! We lived well on the occasion of May 1st, the day when in Paris, as well as the Labour Day, is celebrated well as that of the lily of the valley. For the Celts, the lily of the valley was the symbol of spring and also a lucky charm. The custom to give it away on May 1, was born in court in France of the the sixteenth century, when someone gave a sprig to King Charles IX, who decided to launch a new trend: from then on, every 1 May, would be donated lily of the valley to the women of the court. Thus were born the Bals du mughet, in which young girls dressed in white, the boys wore the lily of the valley like buttonhole and parents remained at home because not allowed. Today, in this special day, bunches of fragrant lilies of the valley are sold in Paris on every street and you have to buy it to give yourself a lot of luck!
In spring it is nice to walk through squares and gardens, but you can not go to Paris and not visit some museum. Of course there is plenty of choice, but you have to start from the Louvre, unmissable stop. It all started with a 1214 fortress, royal residence until 1600, then became in later centuries what we now recognize as one of the most interesting museums in the world.
The main entrance is through the Pyramid of steel and glass in the middle of the Cour Napoleon designed by Ming Pei in 1989. But if like us you’re forearmed of ticket, you can enter from the Richelieu passage (all the details on the site www.louvre .fr).
See all that is displayed in the Louvre is impossible. So better to first define a list of the treasures not to be missed among which enter the Sarcophagus of the Spouses, Etruscan terracotta 500 BC, the Venus of Milo, the ideal of female beauty for the Greeks, the small bust of Queen Nefertiti and limestone, alabaster and rock crystal statue of the scribe sitting in the Egypt of the Pharaohs circuit. Impressive Cour Khorsabad, where the Assyrians emerge from the sands of Mesopotamia and in which stands the huge winged bull with a human head.
Almost like a mirage appears the Nike of Samothrace to which the right is the lounge reserved for the frescoes by Botticelli, which precedes the gallery dedicated to the great Italian artists such as Caravaggio with his famous painting The fortune-teller. And then you come to her, the Mona Lisa, the woman with the mysterious smile painted by Leonardo. After observing her before taking them off along with many other people, turn her your back and almost in complete and perfect solitude, enjoy that wonderful masterpiece that is the huge canvas of the Wedding at Cana by Veronese. From grandeur to grandeur in the presence of large French paintings, from The Raft of the “Medusa” by Gericault to “Liberty Leading the People” by Delacroix.
Then, before leaving planning another visit to see the other treasures in the museum, you have to visit the archaeological underground circuit that invites you to rediscover the medieval castle of Philip Augustus and Charles V.
After visiting the museum, a stop for a coffee or snack. Inside the Louvre, on the first floor at the Cafe Richelieu recommended greedy stop on the terrace overlooking the Pyramide. If you like cheese, you do not lose your stop by Androuet (various locations, see website www.androuet.com), where they serve the most sought after dairy products in France, accompanied by a fine selection of wines.
For dinner, in Paris the choice is endless. We, for the first night, opted for L’Assiette Lyonnaise (21, rue Marbeuf – Champs-Élysées – +33 01 47 209480) which offers typical dishes of the city from which in past centuries came from the talented cooks of the great French families. The cuisine is rich and flavorful and also the decor is warm and inviting, with gilded mirrors, wooden tables and old photos on the walls.